FAA reauthorization returns to the House after the Senate today approved a comprehensive 18-month bill by a 95-3 vote. Passage followed two weeks of debate that had been bogged down by the more than 330 amendments filed for consideration and the threat of a filibuster. The Senate yesterday approved a cloture motion to cut off debate and clear the way for final passage.
The bill had received wide support from general aviation groups for its certification and third-class medical reforms, among many other provisions. But also the groups supported the Senate’s decision to leave out the controversial House proposal for an independent ATC organization. “We applaud this bipartisan step toward implementing a smart, targeted approach to funding the FAA’s efforts to modernize what is already the world’s safest ATC system, without going down the dangerous path of turning our ATC system over to a private board,” said NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen.
NATA president and CEO Tom Hendricks, agreed, saying, “We hope this legislation will serve as the impetus for the House to cease efforts to create an air traffic control corporation and instead move ahead with other provisions of the House committee-passed legislation that strongly resemble the bill approved today by the Senate.”
The House indicated that FAA reauthorization consideration would not take place before May.